Books by Malka Drucker

Released: Aug. 1, 2008

Profiles of 21 Jewish-Americans begin with colonial Sons of Liberty member Haym Solomon and conclude with martyred journalist Daniel Pearl. Declarative prose reacquaints readers with such familiar figures as Levi Strauss, Steven Spielberg and Houdini and introduces less remembered, if equally significant individuals such as murdered civil-rights activists Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman. Succinct yet complete portraits of early life, education, ambitions and most notable accomplishments are laced with evidence of Judaism's influence in shaping professional and personal lives. With pioneers Bella Abzug and Judith Resnick, Drucker ushers in more modern-day women in traditionally male-dominated positions, such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Rosen's eclectic mélange of various media and methods of collage (fabric, woods, appliqué, needlework) and paints (covering cut papers, scratchboard) complements each representation; for example, Levi Strauss appears on a collage made from painted denim and sewn details. A glossary, bibliographies and a timeline that brings out other figures such as Samuel Gompers and Jonas Salk complete this informative collection. (Collective biography. 10-13)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

In her introduction, Drucker (Grandma's Latkes, 1992, etc.) explains that Jewish tradition is made special by sharing stories, playing games, and singing songs. All of these help bring joy and understanding to holiday celebrations. To this end, Drucker has written and compiled this collection of stories, poems, activities, songs, and explanations for all the holidays in the Jewish calendar. It's a good idea, but Drucker doesn't pull it off as well as she might have. Some of the stories are not adapted well, like I.L. Peretz's Hasidic tale ``Maybe Even Higher.'' Others are precious. Barbara Cohen's classic ``The Carp in the Bathtub'' is wonderful here but still better in the original picture book. The activities are generally fun, though not particularly inventive, and Drucker's explanations are informative but dull. Holiday traditions are important, but prepackaged ones will never replace those created and discovered by families with love. (Religion. All ages) Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1993

Left with an aunt when their widowed father escaped Poland in 1940 (``It's not safe for Jewish men...[but] No civilized country would hurt women and children''), Jacob Gutgeld and his brothers were sent to different hiding places outside the Warsaw Ghetto as the Nazis' intentions became evident. In 1941, Alex and Mela Roslan took Jacob in; at the risk of their lives and their children's, they deceived neighbors and German searchers, giving up one home, then another, on Jacob's behalf. His uncle, a doctor, prevailed on them to take in Jacob's brothers: Sholom, who died of scarlet fever, and later David, who—like Jacob—came to love the Roslans as parents. The authors fictionalize this true story with believable dialogue and dramatic scenes (Jacob being smuggled into a hospital for a life-saving operation; a vicious massacre in retaliation for Partisan activity) and frame it as an explanation to Jacob's daughter, who's meeting the Roslans for the first time—which helps bring the story closer to the present, as do photos of the boys and the Roslans, then and now. The story's immediacy is also enhanced by realistic minor discord—the Roslan boys' initial hostility, Mela's and Alex's debates over the choices they've made. After the war, the boys were sent to their father in Israel; the authorities' callous disregard of their bond with the Roslans is a bitter taste of war's lingering injustice. A fine, authentic account of quietly sustained heroism of the highest order. Afterword. (Fiction. 8+) Read full book review >
GRANDMA'S LATKES by Malka Drucker
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

It's time to make latkes for Hanukkah, and Molly is finally old enough to help, to learn her grandma's secret recipe (reprinted at the end), and to hear the story of the miraculous oil. Chwast's large painted woodcuts have an appropriately domestic look, with figures from past and present similarly rendered, thus linking eras. Grandma's facts aren't completely straight—the ancient Jews didn't cultivate potatoes; still, a fine introduction to the celebration and background of this holiday. (Fiction. 6-8) Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1992

Vibrant collages by the illustrator of Annabelle and the Big Slide (1989) portray a straightforward series of objects and celebrations, including not only the usual observances but Yom Ha'atzna'ut, the Israeli Independence Day. The several children in one family provide continuity; some of the entries contain familiar facts (at Chanukah, Maxie eats latkes), but others contain words that will be new to many (when ``Minnie eats lunch in the sukkah, she sniffs the sweet etrog and shakes the tall lulav''). Brief notes on the holidays and a glossary round out the informational value. Attractive and useful. (Picture book. 3- 7) Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

In the first title in the ``Bernard-Bantam Biography'' series, an experienced writer of nonfiction delves into the life of a Mexican painter whose reputation is suddenly in the ascendant, in a straightforward account of her life that emphasizes her unquenchable spirit. The sections that relate Kahlo's earliest artistic efforts to the circumstances of her life are especially strong; her tumultuous marriage to muralist Diego Rivera is also effectively portrayed. To include a chronology, an index, and six color reproductions of art plus b&w photos (not seen). (Biography. 12+) Read full book review >